What is a Community Foundation, and How Does it Serve Our County?
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of Community Foundation of Boone County
Perhaps you have read about or seen social media posts about the Community Foundation of Boone County (CFBC) and most recently about the $1M Community Challenge Grant that is underway. Find out how it all works, where it goes and if you are eligible to participate.
What is a community foundation?
A community foundation invests, manages and disperses designated funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses who desire to give a financial gift to a nonprofit or cause, that benefits the county it serves.
Donors can choose to support an established nonprofit fund of their choice or create a fund that supports their favorite organization or cause. Donors can also choose to donate to the Community Fund-an unrestricted endowment pool of dollars and can be used for various projects, programs and initiatives that improve the quality of life in Boone County.
Community foundations are important partners in building and strengthening their communities and bring people and organizations together to make a difference within their communities. They are tax-exempt public charities that help guide philanthropy and are committed to improving the quality of life in the area they serve. The mission of CFBC is to unite people, organizations and philanthropy to create a thriving community for all.
The first community foundation was established in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914 by Frederic Goff, a banker who realized the value of creating a permanent endowment that would benefit citizens in his community for generations to come.
How was CFBC established?
All of Indiana’s 92 counties have community foundations, thanks to generous donors, volunteers and Lilly Endowment, Inc. who created GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) in 1990. The purpose was to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify and address local needs and challenges.
CFBC was founded in 1991 after $15,000 in startup gifts and a matching grant from Lilly Endowment. Fast forward to 2019, CFBC currently holds just over $22 million in assets, thanks to the generosity of its donors, volunteers, and Lilly Endowment, and has granted over $25 million to nonprofits, scholarships and programs working to solve the critical needs of Boone County.
What does CFBC do with the funds after they are invested?
When a gift is made, those dollars are invested. CFBC spends only the interest on scholarships and charitable/educational grants that support students and nonprofits, such as The Boys and Girls Clubs, Humane Society for Boone County, Habitat for Humanity-Boone County, Boone County Cancer Society, Lebanon Community of Shalom and many more throughout Boone County. CFBC has 203 funds, established by generous donors, businesses and organizations.
How does the $1M Community Challenge Grant work?
CFBC applied in November 2018 and received approval in December 2018 from Lilly Endowment to participate in its latest matching grant incentive. CFBC is currently campaigning to meet the match and has until December 31, 2020, to achieve its goal of raising $1 million towards its Community Fund. For CFBC, an additional $2 million in endowment funds means at least $80,000 more annually to grant and support students and local needs. Additionally, Lilly Endowment will award CFBC a $100,000 unrestricted grant if it achieves full [financial] support from board members through June 2020.
Who can participate?
“The everyday philanthropist who has $10 to $100 can give,” Kristi Reynolds, president and CEO at CFBC, emphasized. “No gift is too large or too small. Lilly [Endowment] is matching those gifts $2 to every $1 donated to our Community Impact Fund, a fund that is used to support the nonprofits and needs of Boone County. CFBC’s purpose is to raise dollars, work with donors and support the nonprofits and needs of Boone County.”
Please consider helping CFBC achieve its goal and contribute to an organization that serves and improves our county. For general donor information, more information on the $1M Community Challenge Grant or information on available scholarships, Women of Impact or other related information, visit communityfoundationbc.org.